My parents did a great job in bringing me up to fear The Lord, and as a result i grew up sheltered from the harsh realities of the world. Now that I’m older I began to see the world for what it really is. The more of this world that I see, the more I am convinced that this is not my home. When I see the emptiness and futility of worldly aims and ambitions, I remember that the life I live for Christ will echo in eternity.
After watching Man of Steel I couldn’t help but see parallels between the story of Superman and of Jesus. One thing that struck me the most was how Cal El always had to hold back on using his power, how he had to conceal who he was til the right time, and how he had to relent from beating up the bullies.
I think this helps us picture better what Christ must have felt. Growing up and having to restrain himself from doing any miracles even if he was far capable of doing so. Or how he could have struck down those who mocked him while he hung on the cross. Countless times Jesus could have silenced the crowd with His power. But He didn’t.
He chose the humble road, the road that lead to him being ridiculed, humiliated, abandoned and broken. He didn’t walk down the path fit for a king, rather He walked down the road of a convicted man sentenced to death. And for a royal crown, a crown of thorns was given instead.
Jesus painted the perfect picture of humility. When we begin to think more highly of ourselves than we ought he reminds us that even the One who owned the universe gave his life for a people who rejected him. When we think of using our power to lift us up and to show off, He shows us that He himself held back on displaying His matchless glory.
The strongest people are those who demonstrate self control. People who are truly strong and powerful need not prove themselves. Those who try too hard are normally empty of real character. Jesus set the example. No one was more powerful than He, yet He was the humblest of all.
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
I love Jeremiah 29:11! It’s a very encouraging verse on God’s faithfulness and sovereignty. However it’s been used countless times out of context.
Jeremiah 29:11 isn’t simply about your current stage of uncertainty, or of you being in a difficult situation, or what God can do for you in a time of pain. To better understand this verse you need to understand the context and the background when God made this promise.
*Read Jeremiah 25: In this chapter we see Jeremiah speaking to the people of Judah to repent, to throw away their gods and to worship only the True Living God. But because of their disobedience God gave them up to the Babylonians who took them captive and destroyed the walls and the temple of the Lord.
In Jeremiah 29 God tells his people to go and settle down though they are exiled, to get married and increase in number and to seek the welfare of the city they were to live in. For God had appointed only 70 years for the Babylonians to reign over them.
In Daniel 5:17-6:3 we see that because of the pride of Nebuchadnezzar and his son Belshazzar, the kingdom was taken from them and was given to the Persians & Medes.
Darius the king of Mede & Cyrus the king of Persia ruled together. In Ezra 1, we read about Cyrus making a proclamation that every man whom the Lord stirs the hearts of should go back to Jerusalem to build the house of God.
Interestingly, over 100 years ago Isaiah prophesied about the man Cyrus. (Read Isaiah 44:24-45:13)
In the book of Ezra we see how the temple of God was rebuild… and in the book of Nehemiah we see how the walls were rebuilt and the people were revived. God fulfilled His promise. (Read Deuteronomy 30:1-5 to see what God’s promise was)
GOING BACK TO JEREMIAH 29
Seeing the bigger picture we can now better understand the context of Jeremiah 29:11. This was written in a time where the people of Judah had to face the consequence of their disobedience. It was a time where they were broken, without a nation, in captivity, and with no sure sense of what was going to happen now.
In Jeremiah 29:10 God says when the 70 years are completed for Babylon ” I will fulfill my promise to you. “
…[29:13] you will seek Me and find Me, WHEN you seek Me with all your heart.  I WILL BE FOUND.
The Israelites disobeyed. The were brought into captivity. BUT because of God’s grace and mercy He had already written the history for the redemption of His people.
Picture in mind the story of the prodigal son. Despite the son choosing the ways of the world, at the end of it all, the father was still waiting for him to come home.
That’s Jeremiah 29:11! It’s a picture of us in our pain caused by our disobedience but despite that God has in arms open waiting for us to come running home. It’s a picture of grace undeserved. It is the story of salvation. It isn’t just a feel good verse, it’s a verse that deals with our sin nature and points to God’s grace. It’s a verse that acknowledges our insufficiency and points to God’s sufficiency. It is a verse that tells you yes you made wrong choices before but it’s alright now because God’s got you, and God will turn it around if you will just seek Him.
This promise in Jeremiah 29:11 has to go hand in hand with the condition in Jeremiah 29:13. Seek God. You cannot be in the center of God’s will if you do not even know God. You cannot follow His will if you do not know what His will is. You cannot have the blessings of the Father if He isn’t even your father. So seek God. Come to know Him, seek Him first…and all his promises shall be given unto you,